Thursday, July 27, 2017

Inter v Verona: Club record in sight for Mancini´s leaders

SoccerNews in Serie A 21 Sep 2015

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Roberto Mancini’s Inter can equal a club record of five successive wins at the start of a Serie A campaign when they host Verona at San Siro on Wednesday.

Sunday’s 1-0 success over Chievo made it four out of four for Mancini’s men in 2015-16, giving them maximum points and opening up a two-point lead over Torino at the top.

Mauro Icardi struck the crucial goal at the weekend – his first of the season – as Inter closed in on a perfect five-game start only previously achieved once before, in 1966-67.

Inter’s success has been all the more impressive given the changes Mancini made to his squad during the close season, the head coach bringing in a host of new faces to try and get over the disappointment of finishing eighth in 2014-15.

Rather than the new recruits taking their time to settle into life at Inter, they have flourished and with an eight-point lead over defending champions Juventus some are already tipping Inter to be Scudetto contenders.

Mancini and his players have played down those claims, but another win on Wednesday would only add to the impressive start made by his side.

Next up for the league leaders is Chievo’s city rivals Verona, to whom Inter have never lost at home in 26 league attempts.

Added to that dominance, Inter are unbeaten against Verona since February 1992 after 10 wins and two draws.

Verona’s early season form has yet to produce a morale boosting victory, with Andrea Mandorlini’s side having drawn three of their opening four games – scoring four goals in the process.

They snatched a point in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Atalanta thanks to Eros Pisano, but travel to Milan with a huge doubt hanging over their talisman Luca Toni.

The 38-year-old was substituted after just 25 minutes in that draw with a knee injury, with Mandorlini hoping he can make a quick recovery to start at San Siro.

Verona could also be without experienced central defender Rafael Marquez – who was also substituted against Atalanta – while Bosko Jankovic will serve a suspension after his red card.

“It will be a tough game,” said Pisano. “Luca Toni and Rafael Marquez are two important players, I wish them good luck, we expect them to have fitness tests and then we’ll see whether they can play.”

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